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How accomplish'd in our Lord,
122, 123 Socinians, Heretics, confuted, 42, &c. 60, &c.
8o, &c. 92, 110, 138, &c. 149, 169, &c.
177, 179, 188, &c. Son of God, in what respects our Lord is so filed,
41 Vid. Generation. Suffered, in what respects our Lord may be said to bave suffered,
8 The several kinds of it that agree to the Church,
W. He Word, the Divine Title of our Saviour, TH World's Duration, bow we are to form an Idea of
I believe in GOD, the Father Almighty,
Maker of Heaven and Earth :
cannot say I see them: Altho' they be not evident to my Understanding of themselves, (b) nor appear unto me true by the vertue of any Natural and Necessary Cause (c); so that I cannot say I have any proper
Knowledge, or Science, of them : Yet, since they are certainly contain'd in the Scriptures, the Writings of the blessed Apostles and Prophets ; since those Apostles and Prophets were endu'd with Miraculous Power from above, and immediately inspir’d by the Holy Ghost, and consequently, what they deliver'd was not the Word of Man, but of GOD himself ; fince GOD is of that universal Knowledge and infinite Wisdom, that 'tis impossible he should be deceiv'd, of that indefectible Holiness, and transcendent Rectitude, that it is not imaginable He should intend to deceive any Man; and consequently, what He hath delivered for a Truth must be necefsarily and infallibly true; I readily and steadfastly assent to them (d), as most certain Truths, and am as fully and absolutely, and more concerningly, perswaded of them, than of any thing I see, or know. And because that GOD, who hath revealed them, hath done it not for my Benefit alone, but for the Advantage of others, nor for that only, but also for the manifestation of his own Glory ; since, for those Ends, He hath commanded me to profess them (e), and hath promis'd an Eternal Reward upon my Profession of them ; since every particular Perlon is to expect the Justification of himself, and the Salvation of his Soul, upon the condition of his own Faith ; as with a certain and full persua
sion, I assent unto them, so, with a fix'd and undaunted Resolution, I will profess them (f); and with this Faith in my Heart, and Confession in my Mouth, in respect of the whole Body of the Creed, and of every Article in it, I sincerely, readily, resolvedly, say, I believe (8).
(a) As that Snow is white, &c.
(6) As that the Whole is greater than the Part, &c.
(c) As the Propositions in Mathematicks, and the Conclusions in other Sciences.
Besides these three kinds of Assent, arising from sensible Perception, Intuition, and Demonstration, There is a fourth also different from Faith, when the Evidence of the thing not appearing by any neceflary connexion with its Cause, or Efečts, but by fome external relation to other Truths, still leaves a possibility of Falfhood, and therefore creates in the Mind only a probable Conjecture, or Opinion.
(d) Faith, or Belief, in general, is defin'd, an Aflent to that which is credible,as credible; i.e. the acknowledging of a thing to be true, not upon the manifestation, but the attestation, of the Truth. According as the Credibility of the Objects is different, there must arise a proportionable distinction of Affent in the Understanding, and, consequently, a different kind of Faith. The Credibility of the Objects varies according to the strength of the Testimony on which it is founded. The strength of every Testimony is measured by the Authority of the Testifier: And this depends upon two Conditions, or Qualities, his Ability, in knowing that which he delivers, and his Integrity, in delivering that which he knows. Human Faith is an Affent unto something, ascre. diblc, merely upon the Testimony of Man. By this Human Faith all things proceed in Common Life; all Letters and Sciences are taught, all Justice executed, all Commerce maintain'd, all Business tranfacted, all great Atchievements
• John v. Go
undertaken, all Hopes, Desires, and Inclinations prefervd. Yer since the Knowledge of Men is ever mix'd with Imperfećtion, and the Integrity of Men ever capable of Sufpicion, there can be no universal, infallible, ground of Human Faith. If, therefore, we receive the Witness of Man, the Witness of God is greater *. Divine Faith is an affent unto something as credible, upon this Witness, or Testimony, of G O D. The Testimony of GOD is given by Revelation; which is nothing else but the Delivery, or Speech, of GOD unto his Creatures; and is of two kinds, immediate and mcdiate. Immediate Revelation is, when GOD delivereth Himself to Man, without the intervention of Man; either by Himself, or by an Angel reprefenting Him, and bearing His Name, which it is not here neceffary to distinguish. Mediate Revelation is the conveyance of the Counsel of GOD to Man, by Man. In the former way GOD revealed Himself to the Patriarchs, to the Prophets, and to the Apostles : In the latter, to those who liv'd under the personal direction of these Teachers, and to those who enjoy the benefit of their inspir'd Writings. So that the true nature of the Faith of a Christiani, as the Condition of Christ's Church now stands, and shall continue to the end of the World, consists in this, that it is an
A fent to Truths credible, upon the Testimony of GOD, deliver'd unto us in the Writings of the Apostles and Prophets.
(e) Faith is an Habit residing in the intellectual part of Man, and therefore of it felf invisible; and to believe is a Spiritual Act, 'ard, consequently, known to no Person but to him who believeth. Wherefore Christ, who is the Head of the Church, and the Author of Unity, must needs be presum'd to have appointed some external Expreífion and Communication, by means of which this Unity might be acknowledged and maintain'd. In the Heart Faith is feared; and with the Tongee Confession is made; and by these two Salvation is perfected. If thou shalt confess with thy Mouth the Lord 7ejus, and shalt believe in thy heart, that GOD
hathraised him from the dead, thou shalt be fav’d t. I have Rom. X. 9: believ’d, and therefore have I spoken * Psal. cxvi. 10.